This blog post was kindly contributed by Jeffrey Finn, founding partner of Pavonis Group and CEO of RealNex, in recognition of International Mentoring Day.
First, I would say, it is an honor to be considered a mentor to Hayim Mizrachi, CCIM. Hayim is an incredibly smart, talented, ambitious, and motivated person. I am proud of the opportunity we had to work together and the success that he has enjoyed.
Our relationship started at a very difficult time. We met during the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009-2010 when Hayim was in his late twenties. I was CEO of NAI Global at the time, and we had recently taken ownership of the NAI Las Vegas operation. These were dark days for commercial real estate brokerage anywhere, but in Las Vegas, it was a disaster.
The first “leader” we had to run the business didn’t work out and was quickly replaced with another. One of the first and best things he did was introduce me to Hayim and his partner,
Jarrad Katz, SIOR, CCIM. We were anxious to recruit this young team to join our brokerage ranks, and thankfully we were successful. I quickly realized that Hayim was seeking more than just a platform to do transactions, he was driven to build a business. And, we needed real leadership at that difficult time. But, Hayim was just a kid, who, while successful at doing deals, hadn’t run a business, let alone lead a team of more “senior” brokers. There was a lot he needed to learn, but he was game. With his notepad ready, we went to work.
The business could have easily failed. Transaction volume had slowed to a trickle, and the culture established by prior leadership had created chaos. Thanks to Hayim’s steady and unwavering approach, we were able to calm the waters, instill appropriate systems and discipline, weed out problematic team members, and add productive talent. We built a culture of respect, teamwork, and success. This new culture attracted and supported agents to provide the highest level of service to their clients. We set goals and objectives and put the tools in place to measure and manage performance.
One primary responsibility in running a business is identifying and grooming talent. Mentoring comes with the territory. But, what’s most important is finding people who want to learn and want to grow. Too often, smart, young talent “already know everything”. I was fortunate to find a young man who wanted to grow and wanted to learn. He was willing to challenge, but also ready to accept. My role as mentor wasn’t to “tell” Hayim what to do; it was to work with him to help guide, shape, and direct. To be a sounding board and provide support.
Together, we were able to weather the storm.
After selling NAI Global and departing the company, Hayim successfully merged his team with MDL Group, and contributed to building the largest independent brokerage management company in the region. During my regular visits to Las Vegas or our frequent video calls in between, I have continued to provide whatever guidance I could, whether long-term advice on building wealth through property investment, more tactical on brand, technology, and platform alignment, or even the careful balance of work and family. Hayim continues to be an inquisitive sponge and can identify what works for him and filter out the rest.
More recently, I am finding myself on the receiving end of the advice and counsel as he continues to learn, grow, and advance in ways far beyond what we built together. The process of mentoring Hayim has been incredibly rewarding and has helped me think critically in sharing my experience and perspective. It is thrilling to see the success he has enjoyed, and I am confident that he has much greater accomplishments to come.